Background and Purpose of the Academy
The purpose for the establishment of The Hong Kong Academy of Sciences ("the Academy") is to promote the development and advancement of science and technology in Hong Kong, and to raise the city’s profile as a centre of scientific excellence. The idea of the establishment of an academy had floated informally for many years, but the SARS crisis in 2003 dramatised the need for a high-level local organisation that could provide leadership and reassurance at such a time. In 2006, a working group was formed under the chairmanship of Professor Chi-Ming Che of The University of Hong Kong. In 2008, a proposal was prepared and submitted to the HKSAR Government. As subsequent discussion showed that the situation was not fully mature, it was decided to wait for some more time.
Important changes took place in the years that followed. In particular, the pool of distinguished scientists in Hong Kong had grown significantly since then, with a critical mass of scientists of international stature and outstanding contributions in many fields of science and technology gradually formed. Despite its growing eminence in the field of science and technology, Hong Kong still lacked an official organisation equivalent to its national counterparts in China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. There was a strong call for a high-profile organisation to speak authoritatively for the scientific interests of Hong Kong. In 2015, the time was opportune for establishing the Academy as a focus for Hong Kong’s scientific and technological development and to promote the territory’s scientific achievements both nationally and internationally. The Academy seeks to bring together leading scientists from nearly all Hong Kong’s tertiary institutions as well as from overseas who have contributed significantly to promoting science and technology in Hong Kong, and through them to represent Hong Kong in science and technology more effectively.
The Academy has several key functions, including (a) to promote the development and advancement of science and technology in Hong Kong, (b) to promote and advance the teaching of science and technology in Hong Kong, (c) to educate and inform the public on issues pertaining to science and technology, and (d) to foster Hong Kong as a centre of scientific excellence. Towards these ends, the Academy cooperates with the industrial and commerce sectors to strengthen the translation and application of research results. It also conducts independent studies to inform and advise the HKSAR Government on policy matters in relation to science and technology.
Membership of the Academy is not restricted to scientists of the Chinese nationality. Any local or overseas scientists who have distinguished contribution to the advancement of science and technology in Hong Kong, regardless of their nationality, are eligible for membership of the Academy. Membership is for life and election to the Academy represents the highest academic honour in the field of science and technology that Hong Kong can bestow. According to our established procedure, the membership of the Academy is initially restricted to no more than 30 members. Following the established two-step process, an initial cadre of 13 founding members was first appointed and they then elected 14 other members. Our members are listed under "Our Members" page.
Regulations of the Academy
The 13 appointed founding members have drawn up a set of regulations, which define the duties and privileges of members, eligibility criteria for membership, and provide detailed procedures for electing members. It is also specified that new members are elected every two years.
Status and Funding of the Academy
The Academy is an independent company limited by guarantee, with non-profit charitable status. It is not part of any other organisation. The cost of operation is donated by members of society. The Academy also applies for support from relevant funding schemes of the HKSAR Government.
Daily Operation and Future Activities
The Secretariat of the Academy is responsible for executing the decisions made by the Board of Directors. Its office is located in the Hong Kong Science Park.